Far South Coast lifesavers ready for search and rescue operations | PHOTO, VIDEO

UPSKILLED: Surf club members complete their last mission of the aquatic rescue course at Bermagui with course assessor Anthony Vella. Picture: Tash Kornman.
UPSKILLED: Surf club members complete their last mission of the aquatic rescue course at Bermagui with course assessor Anthony Vella. Picture: Tash Kornman.

Volunteer surf club members of the Far South Coast attended an adrenaline-packed aquatic rescue course over the weekend, March 2 - 3.

Rock jumps into turbulent water, dives for submerged objects, bridge jumps and night search operations were all part of the Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue Course (SMAR) held at Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club.

Members of Batemans Bay, Broulee, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui, Tathra and Pambula attended the course run by educator and trainer Anthony Vella.

Mr Vella said the course is a prerequisite for lifesavers before obtaining their gold medallion in Surf Life Saving. 

"The SMAR course is a stepping stone," he said. 

"It is about learning search techniques, night ops (operations), recoveries, rescues, search patterns and to grab other lifeguards and utilise them for the best possible outcome.

"We had 24 members from all of the clubs attend, which is a big course to run," Mr Vella said. 

The weekend was a huge success, Mr Vella said the lifesavers' new skills will be time-saving and potentially life-saving if someone were to go missing. 

"I think they (lifesavers) now have the knowledge and are more confident to do rescues in certain situations involving things like rock jumps and bridges," Mr Vella said.

"When you look at things like nippers, and surf carnivals - if someone goes missing, a lot of people are there with the skills who can get in to action straight away."